Making Space: Five Women Changing the Face of Architecture

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Release date: September 2015
Directed by: Ultan Guilfoyle
Produced by: PBS Television
Running time: 50 minutes

For the first time in history, women are designing our world. A new generation of women is creating some of today’s most iconic architectural designs. They are the rising stars in what has been an all-male galaxy and they are literally and figuratively changing the landscape. Making Space brings to the screen the personal journeys and outstanding designs of Annabelle Selldorf of New York, Farshid Moussavi of London, Odile Decq of Paris, Marianne McKenna of Toronto, and Kathryn Gustafson of London, Seattle and Washington DC.

Odile Decq, Kathryn Gustafson, Marianne McKenna, Farshid Moussav, Annabelle Selldorf

Engaging and enlightening, Making Space captures the compelling stories and outstanding designs of Annabelle Selldorf (New York), Farshid Moussavi (London), Odile Decq (Paris), Marianne McKenna (Toronto) and Kathryn Gustafson (Seattle and London). Without script or narration, each woman tells her own story, enhanced by the insights of commentators including Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic Paul Goldberger; MoMA’s Peter Reed and Paola Antonelli; and others, as well as a special guest appearance by Meryl Streep. Featuring projects from around the world, different architectural genres are explored such as urban, landscape and sustainable architecture.

Farshid Moussavi – Farshid Moussavi Architecture, London, England Iranian-born Farshid Moussavi is one of Europe’s most innovative and influential architects and theorists. She believes that architects can define the way we relate to buildings by creating different affects through their choice of scale, materials, shapes, decorative elements and methods of construction. Some of her recent projects include MOCA Cleveland in the United States, the Quaran Museum in Iran and the residential complex in Nanterre, La Defense in Paris.

Kathryn Gustafson – Gustafson, Guthrie & Nichol, Seattle, Washington and Gustafson-Porter, London, England American landscape designer Kathryn Gustafson, one of the most respected in her field, garnered international acclaim with her Diana Memorial Fountain in Hyde Park, London. Recent projects include the Arthur Ross Terrace at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, the Great Glass House in Wales and the Garden of Forgiveness in Beirut. Gustafson’s winning design for the new National Mall in Washington, D.C., will transform this iconic U.S. landmark. Her artistic style, characterized by sensual sculptural forms, has made her the landscape designer of choice for many renowned architects.

Annabelle Selldorf – Selldorf Architects, New York, New York Annabelle Selldorf gained international recognition in 2001 with the design of the Neue Gallery in New York City, a Fifth Avenue Beaux Arts mansion transformed into a museum for German and Austrian art. She has continued to create exquisite spaces for art including museums, galleries and artists’ studios, as well as commercial and residential projects. Demonstrating her virtuosity, one of her recent projects is a sweeping recycling facility, part of an 11-acre site plan in Brooklyn, NY. She is one of very few women to have her sole name on the door of her firm’s headquarters.

Marianne McKenna – KPMB, Toronto, Canada, Marianne McKenna’s highly acclaimed Royal Conservatory of Music, an 18-year project, ignited the cultural life of Canada’s largest city and put Toronto on the world stage of contemporary architecture. Recognized as “one of Canada’s most powerful women,” she is deeply committed to projects that enhance the life of a community.

Odile Decq – Paris, France. From the time she won her first major design commission in 1990, the award-winning Banque Populaire de l’oest, in France, Odile Decq has been a force in contemporary European architecture. She has designed striking museums for contemporary art in Rome and Rennes and the Phantom Restaurant in the Palais Garnier Opera House in Paris which brought cutting edge design into a 19th century landmark. Her boldness is reflected in her trademark use of vivid red and rock-star black.